The foreign policy elite in Washington seems to be united on imposing a no-fly zone over Syria. But two veterans with hundreds of combat missions between them contend that Assad’s anti-aircraft capabilities are far too robust to permit such an intervention without significant losses and billions in expenditures.
Category Archives: Middle East
British lawmakers have said the word “Zionist” as a pejorative “has no place in a civilised society” and recommend considering a victim’s feelings when deciding if a criminal investigation into anti-Semitism should be launched, said an annual report on anti-Semitism published last week by a cross-party group in Parliament.
A new book by New York Times reporter Robert Worth does not say what U.S. policymakers should do about Syria. But he shows how violence promotes sectarianism and lasting bitterness; and it is hard to see how he would then advocate more violence as any kind of answer.
Hagai El-Ad, the head of the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem, urged the United Nations Security Council to take action at last against the occupation because, “The reality will not change if the world does not intervene. I suspect that our arrogant government also knows this, so it’s busy fearmongering against such an intervention.” Netanyahu has responded in outrage.
The new book State of Terror, by Thomas Suárez, documents the willingness of Zionists to use violence to establish a Jewish state, and proves beyond doubt that Israel is not the perpetual victim of Arab violence that it claims to be, but has been the aggressor throughout the history of the conflict.
Marc Ellis writes, “Another Yom Kippur has arrived. That special time of reflection and confession is upon us. Yet the reflection and confessional pickings are slim. In the mainstream Jewish communities of Israel and America there has been little reflection. The confession we Jews should have made, the confession we Jews have to make, won’t be made today.”
Artist Samia Halaby: Israel has never accounted for looted historical art. The Kafr Qasem massacre of 1956 in Israel was followed by the confiscation of Palestinian documentary art of the massacre, as well as art against the Vietnam War.
Israeli new historian Benny Morris writes himself into a scholary cul-de-sac by stating that there was “no ethnic cleansing” by Zionist forces in 1948, after he stated in a 2004 interview that it was “ethnic cleansing” and it was necessary and didn’t go far enough to make peace.
“Deeply troubling… disheartening” and a contradiction of Israel’s vows not to extend a “perpetual occupation”– the latest State Department statement condemning a new Israeli settlement is its strongest language yet.
An all-women crew sailing toward the shores of occupied Gaza were taken into Israeli naval custody this afternoon, ending their month-long sea voyage to “break the siege on Gaza.” The Israeli military said the vessel was still in international waters at the time of the “uneventful” interception, around 35-nautical miles from the Israeli port of Ashdod.
Americans on the 2020 Census might have the option of filling out “Middle East and North Africa” (MENA) as their ethnicity, having lacked such a specific category on previous census forms. Some Arab Americans seek the change, while others fear it will provide information to forces who want to discriminate against them.
An Israeli water conference in Venice is aimed at keeping the country in European spaces, but it was distinctly under-attended, and organizers inflated the numbers by putting fake names in a conference registry: Aaron Aaron, Tina Tina, Jeffy Jeffy and Yaw Yaw.
Mariam Said registered up for a one-on-one debriefing on Palestinian art before 1948 at the Guggenheim Museum and was told it would take place “at a secret location within the museum.” The presentation was given by an Israeli man who shared no video or slides or any visual piece of art except for three pieces he showed on his cell phone. Said left feeling that she had been taken on a ride, and since has been asking what all this was about.
The initial decision for Berkeley to cancel the course ‘Palestine: A Settler Colonial Analysis’ was located within the transparently self-serving but now widespread claim that any discussion of Palestinian human rights or Israeli violations of international law constitutes a threat to the ‘safety’ of Jewish students. In reality, Juliana Farha writes, this shoddy affair and similar incidents make clear that for university administrators, legislators and others, it is Palestinian students and defenders of Palestinian rights that should have no expectation of safety.
“Nakba denial beats denial of the Holocaust,” Gideon Levy says, while Mahmoud Abbas calls on the world to acknowledge the expulsion 68 years later. But American denial of the Nakba remains as strong as ever.
Today, September 21st, is International Day of Peace. In a world of conflict, we have quarantined its solution to a single day, a day of peace. As Americans, peace is something we volunteer to achieve in our spare time, but for a Palestinian, peace is the only hope of a future life.
The new head of the ADL, Jonathan Greenblatt, seized the opportunity to throw Netanyahu under the bus for his “Ethnic cleansing” video, in an effort to reach out to young American progressives. It won’t work. Young progressives don’t like Israel, and the ADL does.
Israel is not an occupier, says Israel’s former ambassador to Canada, Peter Baker. But the history of Israeli expansion since 1948 could not be clearer: it seeks more and more land with as few Arabs on it as possible, and destroys not just the villages but the memory of those places.
Gaza’s Hossam Azzum is competing in his fourth Paralympics Games in Rio on September 14, 2016. In the 2000 Sydney Games Azzum won a bronze medal becoming the first Palestinian medalist among disabled and non-disabled competitors. But six years ago Azzum took a break from competing after his wife died during childbirth. Then, in 2014, his house was destroyed by the Israeli military during the 51-day war on Gaza. Now, Azzum plans his comeback in Rio.
Twice in the last ten days, the Netanyahu government has adopted a new spin-strategy: taking the term “ethnic cleansing”, which the world has increasingly become aware that Israel enacts, and turning it against its Palestinian victims.
Read part two of a lengthy interview with Guantanamo defense lawyer Major Todd Pierce (Retired) in which he relates his beliefs about American society today: that our wars in the Middle East have been fostered by propaganda and falsehood, including claims about radical Islam, and that the elites have fallen in line in a way that they did not do during Vietnam, and these developments threaten our democracy.
Advocates for U.S. escalation in Syria will make a bad situation worse, warns George Washington University Professor Marc Lynch; and President Obama’s resistance to increased intervention may be reversed by his successor.
The answer to a failed intervention is, more intervention. And to justify such a policy, the interventionist media cite low civilian casualty figures in the Iraq war, and now appears to be grossly undercounting civilian deaths caused by rebels in Syria.
Guantanamo defense lawyer Todd Pierce was an army computer technician when he witnessed the U.S. implant itself in Saudi Arabia in 1990, and an Army lawyer when he saw the hysteria following 9/11. He says Americans have no idea why Arabs and Muslims hate us, and meantime we are losing our historic legitimacy by conducting drone warfare on civilians and sacrificing our tradition of civil rights.
As long as we accept the blithe use of terms like “terrorist” to refer to Palestinians fighting for basic dignity or accept the matter-of-fact description of Israel as a “democracy”, we lose the game. Those terms have been carefully designed to leave no room for a true dialogue of ideas. We need to stop expending our energies on arguments within their parameters of thinkable thought.